AUG/SEPT/OCT 2017 ELK GROVE, CA
GOING ALL IN
Volunteering offers unimaginable blessings, joy, energy and purpose. p. 12
Because God is relational! Learn how to sign-up! p. 8
Is your smart phone in control or are you? Where faith and pop-culture meet. p. 18
From shoeboxes to Shining Stars... Creekside is touching lives! p. 16
Have you ever tried to fight against an enemy you can’t see? That’s one of the trickiest things about being a Christ follower. We are constantly living in the context of a huge struggle between Heaven and Hell, and our adversaries (fallen angels) are invisible! Even though Satan was definitively defeated by the cross and empty tomb of Christ some 20 centuries ago, the powers of Hell still seek to do as much damage as possible to God’s people and purposes on earth. Our goal with this FORWARD TO FREEDOM series is to help you not surrender an inch of ground in your life that Christ’s enemies would like to take from you.
CONTENTS AUG/SEPT/OCT 2017
2 WELCOME 3 PULSE 11 ASK A PASTOR Pastor Phil answers the difficult question: Why do bad things happen? FEATURES
8 WHY LIFEGROUPS?
Because God is relational! Melissa Yocum tells us how to get involved.
12 GOING ALL IN
Volunteering offers unimaginable blessings, joy, energy and purpose. OUTREACH
ALL IN WITH YOUR FAMILY
Pastor Joel gives practical hints for spending more time with family without your smart phone!
16 OUTREACH Creekside is touching lives with Shoeboxes and Shining Stars.
18 INTERSECTION Do you control your smart phone or does your
smart phone control you? Pastor Joel discusses where faith and pop culture meet.
19 22 24 DOWNLOAD THE CREEKSIDEEG APP AND READ CREEKSIDE LIFE ANYTIME, ANYWHERE.
Connect, Grow, Serve, Reach
by Caleb Stone
PROFILE: TONY BELL
Leading men to be strong and grow and serve. DOWNLOAD THE CREEKSIDEEG APP AND READ CREEKSIDE LIFE ANYTIME, ANYWHERE.
Now available for iPhone, Android and iPad. For more information, visit creeksideeg.com/creekside-life
Now available for iPhone, Android and iPad. For more information, visit creeksideeg.com/creekside-life
PURPOSE: Moving people closer to Jesus.
MISSION: We exist to bring glory to God by turning all people into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
DISCIPLE: One who learns to live and love like Jesus and leads others to do the same.
in our ministries (although it is that), Creekside Life tells the stories of Jesus’ activity in the lives of people in our church, in the community and through Creekside around the world. Creekside Life is your one-stop source for behind-the-scenes stories and inside scoop on the ministries, people and events of Creekside. Filled with pictures and engaging articles, it’s more than a magazine… it’s a connection to the heartbeat of Creekside Christian Church.
WELCOME to CREEKSIDE LIFE This magazine has been a long time coming, and we are so very happy to be able to bring it to you. It all started last fall when our Executive Pastor and our Communications Director met and began to dream. We needed to find a more concise way to share the information that can and does impact the lives of people at Creekside and in the community. Not only did we want to share information, but every day we hear stories of people connecting, growing, serving and reaching, and we wanted to find CREEKSIDE LIFE creeksideeg.com/creekside-life Bill Maxon, Executive Pastor—Oversight Marci Stone, Communications Director— Editor-in-Chief PROJECT MANAGEMENT Kathy Herbold
a way to let people know that God is on the move and to make a way for them to experience the hope and inspiration that we are experiencing. So after a trip to Texas to visit a church who produces a monthly magazine for the 40,000 people who attend their church and for the thousands in their community, and after a lot of thought and a lot of prayer (“Are you SURE Lord? Are we ready for this?”), and as several highly specialized volunteers came forward wanting to join the team, Creekside Life was born. Our team, comprised of both staff and volunteers, has worked hard to bring you something special. More than a “what’s happening” EDITORIAL Bryan May, Senior Writer/Editor Dawn Maxon, Copy Editor Mia May, Contributing Copywriter Katie Neumann, Contributing Copywriter
On-Staff Contributing Copywriters: Melissa Yocum, Executive Director & LifeGroups Joel Neufeld, Worship Leader & Young Families Phil Fuller, Associate Pastor & College Jennifer Sandlin, Volunteer Coordinator
We will begin by publishing quarterly, releasing future editions in November, February, May, and so on. Eventually we hope to see Creekside Life becoming a monthly publication, but it will take more than our existing team to make that happen. So if you have experience in writing, photography, graphic or artistic design, proof-reading or editing, do us a favor and be sure to read page 25. We’d love to have a large team of people, all ages, all stages, who are All In and using the gifts God gave them to help with Creekside Life. Find a comfy chair in the Atrium, grab a coffee from Higher Grounds or take it home to your favorite reading space and dig into life at Creekside. Be inspired... be informed. —the Team at Creekside Life PHOTOGRAPHY Jeff Carnie, Senior Photographer Mia May, Contributing Photographer ART Marci Stone, Creative Director Kathy Herbold, Graphic Design Caleb Stone, Contributing Artist
CREEKSIDEEG All responses taken from Creekside Christian Church social media. Send us feedback on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
IN RESPONSE TO THE ROUTE 66 SERIES
On Saturday, April 29, Creekside joined forces with other area churches for a day of service to our local community. Volunteers chose to serve at local schools or local nonprofit organizations. This turned out to be a great opportunity for families and LifeGroups to serve together. SCHOOLS SERVED: • Foulks Ranch Elementary • John Ehrhardt Elementary • Franklin Elementary • Robert Fite Elementary
We have been enjoying learning about the 66 books of the Bible with the Route 66 series for the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Bible. Elizabeth Kassens-Want | via Facebook
Stephanie Spears | via Facebook
• Local Children’s Hospitals
“I WAS RUNNING LATE AND missed services at my Church so I ventured off and found Creekside. I loved it! Pastor Scott was great and the music was wonderful to listen to. My heart tells me this may be my new home Church.”
• Alternatives Pregnancy
Rhoda Jones | via Facebook
• Cosumnes Oaks High • Florin High NON-PROFITS SERVED: • Elk Grove Food Bank • Chicks in Crisis
Alisa De’Leon-Murdockvia | via Facebook
This church embodies the reason we have churches. Pastor Scott Hansen and the leaders are excellent, very welcoming and eager to share the “good news” in a meaningful way. The focus is on Christ and salvation. I really like that the diversity of Elk Grove is reflected in the congregation. Love my church!
• Harriet Eddy Middle School • Joseph Kerr Middle School
“I HAVE BEEN ATTENDING Creekside for about 2 months now and I must say this is the best church I’ve EVER been to. Pastor Scott is amazing... in this series called Route 66. This week he is preaching from the book of Revelation which most pastors won’t preach on. I encourage those who have not visited the church to please come visit. He teaches from the Bible. He’s not one of those “feel-good” preachers either. He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear....”
Absolutely LOVE my church!!!! This is where I go to feed my soul. Nadia Mokrushin | via Facebook
“God so loved the world...that is what you feel when you place yourself on these premises! Jesus is the center of this place. The church body exists and is in action here. Please come and test the water yourself.” Vicki Sadler | via Facebook
“Awesome place to worship and learn” Rose Bittner | via Facebook
“Very nice church— they have a great program for the kids also.” Barry Arnold | via Facebook
MATT ERNSTER FACILITIES
IN RESPONSE TO HUME LAKE SUMMER CAMP
Hume Lake was one of the best experiences of my life. They make learning about God super fun and exciting, through recreational games, all of the activities (like my personal favorite, the high ropes swing) and the amazing times that I had during chapel. Being there makes me hunger more for God, which is all I could ever ask for. One of my friends who wasn’t able to make it asked me how I would rate Hume Lake on a scale from one to ten. I told her that there wasn’t a number big enough to give it the credit it fully
deserves, which is the absolute truth. Only God knows just how giving an experience and truly amazing Hume Lake is. Mia May | Contributing Copywriter
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP? A farmer. I liked growing stuff... I have a green thumb.
“My favorite thing was learning that God is the only one who can define me…”
PROUDEST MOMENT? Definitely when my kids were born. I have a daughter, Elizabeth who is 21 and a son, Ramon, who is 13. HOBBIES? I love surfing... growing up in SoCal I did it as often as I could. IF YOU COULD GET COFFEE WITH ANYONE LIVING OR DEAD...
Abby Sherwood | Camper
“The best part was being at a place where you could love God and have fun at the same time. My favorite part was EVERYTHING, you grow and connect with God more than you can explain.” Elizabeth Yee | Camper
My mom. I miss her a lot!
For more about Creekside pastors and staff, visit www.creeksideeg.com/team/
“Hume Lake has the ability to change lives. It’s a great escape from the day to day routine we all become so accustomed to. It gives kids an opportunity to go out and have fun, while still growing closer to Jesus. Whether it’s making new friends, dominating at recreation, or getting deeper in their walk with God, it’s a week they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.” Sarah Rose | Camp Counselor
“My favorite thing was getting to meet my new best friends.” Mia Porto | Camper
The survey results are in! Drum roll please…this year was the “BEST Mega Camp ever!” Sherry Ju | Children’s Ministry Pastor
30 450 190
Children received Christ’s Gift of Salvation Participants
“The campus had a moving, lively spirit about it as the kids moved from one activity to another!”
95 6 32
First-time Decisions for Christ in the last few months.
Kidschurch 3rd—4th grade Sunday School Class
Mega Camp Sandlot Baseball Ministry to kids!
IN RESPONSE TO SENIOR ADULT/JR. HIGH GAME DAY
“Two children in my group were anxious and distraught from the start, but by the third day, the message of ‘God is always with you’ took hold and comforted them.”
“Team-unity was incredible and my youth helper was amazing!” “I saw God at work through two young girls in my group as they poured out compassion to another little girl who was sitting alone and asked her to come play with them.”
“The best moment for me was when a young boy in my group accepted Jesus as his Savior!” Quotes from a few of our 190 Awesome Volunteers
There is a lot of talk these days about the differences between the older generations and the younger ones. Whether it has a negative or positive focus, the talk seems to always highlight the drastic differences between the groups. At times it almost seems as if they have nothing in common at all. That is exactly why our Game Day for Jr. Highers and Senior Adults is so amazing and so important! On this day I see ladies in their 80’s “running” around the room laughing as they chase down the Jr. Higher in an attempt to turn in their answer for the pictionary game before the next team! I also see 7th and 8th graders sitting at tables over lunch, soaking in the stories and wisdom that only these seniors can offer them from their time and experience in this world. Every year, this one day alone, reminds me just how amazing the church can be as it brings together people in all different ages and stages of life around one common joy and factor of Jesus! It seems to me that if we actually look for it, there might be more in common, and more that we can learn from one another, than previously realized. CL Steven Rossi | Youth Ministry Pastor
IN RESPONSE TO MEGA CAMP
Why LifeGroups? by MELISSA YOCUM, CREEKSIDEâ€™S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & DIRECTOR of LIFEGROUPS
Because God is relational and lives in community —God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit—and He created us to be relational and in community—with Him and with each other. God tells us over and over in His Word that we need each other. The Christian life was never meant to be lived alone. At Creekside, we have LifeGroups for this very reason. Our goal for LifeGroups is simply to help velcro the two things we need most—the Bible and other Christ followers. This is especially true when facing hard times. Our hope (and prayer) is that significant, Christ-centered relationships are fostered. After two years of sermon-based LifeGroups, we are learning that whenever a group of believers gather together to share their lives, pray, and discuss the biblical text and life application of Sunday’s sermon, good stuff happens. God shows up and He often shows off! LifeGroups provide a powerful mixture of God’s Spirit, His people and the Scriptures—which allows for organic growth. Each group takes on its own flavor, based on the people in the group and the things happening in their lives. The simple process of regularly handling the Scriptures and looking into them to see what they say sets the stage for spiritual growth. God has answers in His Word, no matter what situation we face. LifeGroups who live life together allow for a warm hug, wise counsel or swift kick in the rear, just when it’s needed. LifeGroups allow us to be close enough to other Christians to benefit from their knowledge and support.
WHAT IS A LIFEGROUP? LifeGroups are in-home groups of approximately 10-14 Creekside adults who gather weekly during three sessions a year to share, pray, study God’s Word and discuss the Sunday sermon. The focus is on the previous Sunday’s sermon using Discussion Questions provided on the back of the weekly sermon notes or on the Creekside app or website. Weekly meetings typically last about 90 minutes. Together, we seek to grow as we discover how the biblical principles presented during the sermon apply to the realities of everyday living. We also encourage one another through One Another Christianity... • Bear with one another —EPHESIANS 4:2 • Encourage one another— 1 THESSALONIANS 5:11 • Carry one another’s burdens —GALATIANS 6:2 • Confess sins to one another—JAMES 5:16 • Pray for one another—JAMES 5:16 • Live in harmony with one another— ROMANS 12:16 • Spur one another on toward love and good deeds—HEBREWS 10:24 • Fellowship with one another—1 JOHN 1:7 • ...and more! LifeGroups provide an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to do His work. If you are not yet in a group, or if you are willing to consider hosting or leading a group during CREEKSIDEEG.COM
our next cycle, please contact us. We would love to help get you connected and seek the Lord with you regarding LifeGroups. HOW DO I JOIN A LIFEGROUP? Signing up for a group is easy. If it’s not a good fit, or if life gets too busy and you need a break, rolling off is easy too! We have three sessions per year— winter, spring and fall. Signups happen every August, January and April and sessions usually run about 10 weeks. We take breaks for the summer months, and during the Christmas and Easter Holidays. Leader/Host bio’s and group specifics are provided during signups so that you can select a group that best fits your needs—day of the week, location, interests and stage of life. Try a group for three weeks and if it’s not a good fit, it’s okay to try another group. No questions asked! We hope you will give it a try and allow the Lord an opportunity to help you connect with Him and with others. LifeGroups=Folks going together in the same direction to grow in their love for Christ and each other. I pray you don’t miss out.
Download Downloadour ourapp app for for FREE FREEon on anyphone phoneorortablet tabletplatform! platform. any Simply search: search: LifeGroups LifeGroups Simply DID YOU KNOW WE HAVE TWO APPS? One is for all of Creekside’s ministries... but the other is specifically for LifeGroups! That’s right, you can watch the sermons, listen to the audio file of the sermon, look at the Sermon Notes AND the LifeGroup Discussion Guide. It’s all in one place for you. And it couldn’t be easier to find! Simply search LifeGroups and look for the icon we’ve included here.
Now available on To sign up for our fall session, • Visit the Atrium between services August 6-27 • Go on-line to review open groups • Call the church office and talk to Sharon Sorrentino or Melissa Yocum
CREEKSIDE PASTOR ANSWERS YOUR DIFFICULT QUESTIONS
Why do bad things happen? by PHIL FULLER, ASSOCIATE PASTOR
s I write these words I’m staring at the majestic scenery of Hume Lake in the heart of Kings Canyon National Park. The sun is rising over a still lake nestled among towering pine trees and the majestic snow-capped mountains as a backdrop. The perfect postcard. But this year my eyes are drawn to the forest which has been thinned by the massive wildfire that recently tore through here. I can’t help but wonder why things like this happen. As tragic as this fire was, we’ve all seen much worse: tsunamis in Asia, earthquakes in Haiti, fires and floods that exact a tremendous toll of human life, not to mention diseases and injuries, or the suffering we see inflicted by humanity: violence, sex slavery, or terrorists brutally taking lives. And then, there’s that thing they did to you. We’ve all asked, “Why do bad things happen?” It’s a valid question. And there’s no easy answer… but let me offer a few observations: OBSERVATION #1 When we ask the question, we’re betraying an innate sense of morality and justice. We label some things good—and we expect these things in our lives—and we label other things bad—which automatically means that we don’t want anything to do with them. Sensing that some things are bad or evil suggests that there really is a God who determines what is good and right, not arbitrarily, but by His very character. This clues us in to our expectation that it shouldn’t be this way. Leading to observation number 2…
OBSERVATION #3 So until God makes all things right again, what should our response to suffering be? One man who went through much suffering once challenged us to rejoice “in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” ROMANS 5:3-4. Easier said than done. But I’ve seen this work in my life and in others’. The hope of a world without pain and suffering is no mere pipe dream. It’s a reality that we can grasp through the tough stuff. So, friend: Hold on to Jesus.
Have a difficult question? Email subject line: Ask A Pastor at email@example.com and look for your answer in a future issue of Creekside Life.
ASK A PASTOR
OBSERVATION #2 When we feel as though it shouldn’t be this way, we then hope for something better. As a Christ-follower, I believe in God who created all things perfect and will someday make all things perfect again. Until then, our world is marred by sin and brokenness. Not only are we sinful and broken individually but the whole creation is less than it should be. Bad things we encounter are typically a result of sin and brokenness. Frankly, the Christian story is the only way to make sense of this tension of brokenness and beauty, pain and perfection. Someday perfection will be achieved again—not by us, but by Jesus Christ.
GOING ALL IN by JENNIFER SANDLIN, VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR
I remember standing on the edge of the high-diving board at the local public pool in the middle of July. I was a good swimmer, and I had often dived into the pool from the low board. But this was different. This was scary. I was so high up in the air, and the water was so far down below. I had seen other people dive in, and it looked like it would be fun. But did I have enough courage to try it myself? Standing at the edge and peering down over my toes, teenage boys urging me on from behind, it took all my
effort to finally make the plunge. Was it a graceful swan dive? Was it an elegant jackknife? No, I think it was probably a loud, splashy, kerplunk— well, as loud and splashy as a nine-year-old girl can be. But as I rose to the surface, I was exhilarated! I had done it! The rest of the afternoon found me repeatedly climbing up the ladder and plummeting into the pool, jumping in over and over again. I had finally gone ALL IN and I was hooked!
the sidelines and watch others dive in. They make it look so simple. They make it look like fun. Yet we don’t always want to try it ourselves. Are we afraid of belly flopping? Is it too much effort? Are there too many complications in our lives? Are we just willing to let others do the work while we observe and reap the benefits? There are all kinds of excuses, but the truth is that God has created each one of us to go ALL IN.
Just like diving into a pool, when it comes to serving in the church, it’s easy to sit on
EPHESIANS 2:10 tells us that
“we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do
good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” This verse is a wonderful reminder that we are not here by chance, and the Creator Himself has intentionally planned good works for us to do. What a great honor to know that each one of us is God’s masterpiece, specifically created to do those good works. As we read further in Ephesians, chapter 4 tells us that God has given each of us gifts so that we can do works of service and build up the body of Christ. Imagine the Church as God
intended it to be: equipped for ministry, unified in the faith, growing in the knowledge of the Son of God, becoming spiritually mature, and attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ! This is what happens when we devote ourselves to becoming followers of Jesus and living as He did—giving ourselves in service to others! Is this work burdensome? It needn’t be. Because God has created us with unique gifts
to serve in the place He has prepared for us, we can be excited and enthusiastic about volunteering in the church! When we find our “sweet spot” of serving and are using our God-given gifts and abilities to further God’s Kingdom, we become renewed, refreshed, invigorated, and energized to do more! God has equipped you for service, called you to ministry, and is inviting you to make the plunge. Are you ready to go ALL IN? CL
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Look for our ALL IN Mini-Card in the Atrium.
WHERE COULD YOU FIT? Guest Services & Hospitality
INTERESTS • Greeting • Connection Center • Kiosk Staffing • Beverage Preparation • Hospitality
INTERESTS • Connecting People Relationally • Group Facilitation • Organizing • Admin Support
INTERESTS • Information Systems • Computers • Phone Support • Data Entry • Admin Support
MINISTRIES: • Atrium/Hospitality
MINISTRIES: • Men • Women • Seniors • LifeGroups/Circles
MINISTRIES: • Sound/Lights • IT
Children & Students
INTERESTS • Group Facilitation • Teaching/Training • Special Needs Kids • Special Projects
MINISTRIES: • Children • Youth • College/Young Adults
Outreach INTERESTS • Construction • Humanitarian Aid/Relief Efforts • Cross-cultural Interaction • Mentoring/Teaching • Logistics Planning MINISTRIES: • Missions • Circles
Campus Support & Resources
Arts INTERESTS • Photography • Visual/Graphic Design • Copywriting, Proofreading • Sound/Video • Dramatic Arts • Instrumental/Vocal Music MINISTRIES: • Communications • Worship & Arts
Hope & Support
INTERESTS • Service Set-up • Physical Labor • Organizing • Maintenance
INTERESTS • Mentoring • Visiting • Communion Prep • Baptism Assistance
MINISTRIES: • Parking Cowboys • Security • Facilities
MINISTRIES: • Deacon/Elder • Pastoral Care & Worship Support • Usher • Altar/Bereavement Care
Contact Jennifer Sandlin, Volunteer Coordinator, to find just the right place to serve at Creekside: firstname.lastname@example.org or 916.685.4821 ext. 165 14
ALL IN WITH YOUR FAMILY
by JOEL NEUFELD WORSHIP LEADER AND YOUNG FAMILIES
What if I invited you to have dinner with me? You are excited to catch up, see how I have been. When I meet you at the restaurant I tell you, “Oh by the way I have invited a few hundred of my other friends to join us.” How would you feel? I think it would shock me a bit, definitely make me feel not as important as I felt when you first asked me out to dinner. Or imagine tucking your kids in at night or turning in for the night with your spouse and again you invite a few hundred other people with you! Kind of awkward don’t you think. Do you realize when you check every message on your phone when you are out to eat, tucking the kids in at night or before you go to sleep, essentially you just invited hundreds of people and a multitude more distractions into those moments? There are times I read stories to my kids that are on my phone, or I watch sports highlights with my wife before I go to bed. But I encourage you to read the Intersection article on page 18 called “Do you control your smart phone or does your smart phone control you?” and honestly answer that question. Now I am going to admit. I am not perfect when it comes to shutting down my phone, but I do know I want to be more all in with my family. I want to be a better husband and father, and I know that means I need to take control over my phone instead of letting my phone control me. So I want to share a few things I have learned, tried, sometimes failed at, and tried again to help me be more All In with my family. MOVE YOUR DEVICE AWAY FROM YOU I have found that if my phone isn’t on me, especially when I am at home, I am less likely to check on it every time it beeps, dings,
PUT YOUR PHONE ON MUTE Speaking of beckoning noises, try putting it on mute every once in awhile. Make a family agreement during certain times of the day—meal times, bed times, you decide—to turn off the noise. The one time during the day that I strongly encourage you to put your phone on mute when you are driving. The great thing about phones is that the information will be there for you whenever you look at it, even when you are done driving to your next location. Believe it or not, others can wait, your life and your family are more important. TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS Try going the extra mile and tell your phone to make fewer noises. Do we really need our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds 24/7? I have to admit I like knowing sports scores and news stories as they are happening, so I need help with this as well. But even if we try turning off one app’s notification at a time, our lives will be more open and free.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 22 CREEKSIDEEG.COM
tweets, and rings. When you are at home treat it like a home phone. Put it in one location, and you determine when you answer its beckoning noises.
After sharing the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus said “Go and do likewise.” That is the mission of Samaritan’s Purse— to follow the example of Christ by helping those in need and proclaiming the hope of the Gospel.
for Pack an OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD shoebox and give local churches around the world an effective tool for evangelism, discipleship, and multiplication!
ONE MOM’S OPINION ABOUT... by KATIE NEUMANN
Shining Stars is a magical place confidence from grownups… the treasures they are. That’s where my two young boys their dreams today will become why families from all walks are thriving. We are blessed the realities of tomorrow. of life line up to bring their to be entering our fourth Nurturing a child’s sense of kiddos to school here. They straight year of having kids at personal worth and therefore know their children will be safe, LEARN HOW TO PACK Shining Stars and cannot say hope and Visit dreams for a loved, valued, celebrated and A SHOEBOX GIFT samaritanspurse.org/occ and learn how to bless a child overseas through a gift-filled shoebox, given in Jesus’ Name. enough good things about wonderful future is perhaps the seen. What more could we, as our experience. most important responsibility parents, want for our children? of every grownup in a Dr. Wess Stafford, President The teachers are so invested in child’s life.” Emeritus of Compassion their students—they genuinely International and author of the love and care about each My experience has been that book Too Small To Ignore says: child. One day I watched a this is the heartbeat of Shining teacher put her hand on the “Children are more than we Stars. Want to know the secret shoulder of a little boy who’d think they are; they can do of why Shining Stars is so had a really tough morning more than we think they can magical? It’s that the staff truly and gently pray over him as do. All they need is a vote of live this out—treating kids like 08-18-110
OOD EWS. REAT
GOOD NEWS. GREAT
IT HAS BEEN OUR JOY here at Creekside to touch lives through Operation Christmas Child for over 15 years. Creekside members have packed and donated more than 6,400 Shoeboxes, 556 in 2016 alone!! SHOEBOX STORIES Twin sisters received notebooks and pencils in their shoebox gifts in Jamaica. Before this, their father cut a notebook and pencil in half so they’d have school supplies. These twins, Shanika and Sherika, said “the shoebox gifts and The Greatest Gift booklet helped us as new Christians to continue to grow in our faith.” Check out the 11 new Shoebox Stories for 2017 which can be found at www.samaritanspurse/shoeboxstories
Make plans to join us this October and November as we again pack OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD shoeboxes.
HOW THE SHINING STARS ARE ALL IN they walked to class. I can only imagine how that helped turn around that sweet boy’s day. The staff treat the children as valuable and important now— not just someday in the future— as contributors to their family, church, and society today, even at their young ages. It’s amazing to see kids without much of a faith background come to know Christ through Shining Stars and end up bringing their entire family to church. The staff at Shining Stars never minimalizes the faith of a child.
Wess Stafford is famous for saying that every encounter with a child is a divine appointment. The staff at Shining Stars lives this out each and every day, always looking for those divine KIDS... COME TO KNOW CHRIST THROUGH SHINING STARS AND END UP BRINGING THEIR ENTIRE FAMILY TO CHURCH. appointments God has placed in their path. Alongside the great academic teaching (which more than prepares these
kiddos for elementary school), the many fun, creative activities, and teaching them how to treat others with kindness and respect, these kids are learning about Jesus and how much He loves them, how He has created a great and wonderful plan that only they can fulfill. On top of it all, Shining Stars does have the cutest kids in town, but I may be a little biased. Want more information about Creekside’s Shining Star Preschool and Kindergarten? Go to shiningstarseg.com
The INTERSECTION W H E R E FA I T H & P O P C U LT U R E M E E T
by JOEL NEUFELD, PASTOR TO YOUNG FAMILIES
The year was 2005. My wife and I were walking through what used to be the K Street Mall in downtown Sacramento and we stopped at a cell phone kiosk. The iPhone was two years away but the Motorola Razr had just been released. Prior to this day I had prided myself in not owning a cell phone. I shuddered at the thought of anyone being able to reach me, anytime, anywhere. However we were entering the child birthing years and my wife convinced me that being able to reach me while she was pregnant was a good thing. It wasn’t long until I not only had a cell phone with me wherever I went, but I no longer had a home phone line. It was only 2 years later when I held my first iPhone. It was amazing! The touch screen, the apps... I could zoom in with only two fingers onto a map and see where I lived. Now not only could people call me and text me anytime, anywhere, but they could also email me and Facebook message me as well! Today there isn’t much our cell phones can’t do. If you can think of it, there is 18
probably an app for it. This is extremely helpful in a lot of circumstances. It can also be very harmful if we aren’t careful. Apple says that iPhone users unlock their phones 80 times a day. Even worse, we tap, type and swipe our smartphones more than 2,600 times a day, on average. Just in case you forgot, there are only 24 hours in a day. That averages out
DO YOU CONTROL YOUR SMART PHONE OR DOES YOUR SMART PHONE CONTROL YOU? to more than 100 times an hour. The majority of us check our phones in front of our kids, during meetings, while we eat and while we should be sleeping. Have you ever felt a bit of anxiety when you are forced to be away from your phone? It’s not imaginary; it is what true addiction feels like. Researchers have shown that when we receive a text, a “like” on our Facebook post, or Instagram photo, our brain releases a chemical called dopamine which makes us
feel good. So we reach for our phones constantly to check to see if anything is new so we can get a hit of that Dopamine. So when you get 12 likes on that great Instagram selfie, your brain gives you a positive feeling not unlike the feeling you receive when taking heroin or cocaine. Our cell phones are neither good nor evil, so I am not going to say that our phones are equal to the dangers of cocaine and heroin. But we have to ask ourselves honestly, do we control our phone or does our phone control us? If we aren’t careful they can steal our focus away from family, friends and the general things of life happening around us. Life passes you by and you are tacitly saying that you value your time on your phone over the people you love. When we look back at our lives, it’s highly unlikely that anyone will wish they had spent more time staring at their phones. CL
For tips on how to ease off your smart phone see the article on page 15, All In With Your Family.
CREEKSIDE CHRISTIAN CHURCH CORE WORKSHOPS/EVENTS Sharon Sorrentino | email@example.com BAPTISM Sept 17, 12:45pm | Rm. D–5 This class will answer your questions about baptism and prepare you for this step of faith with Jesus. Karen Nowlan | firstname.lastname@example.org
PRAYER RENEWAL RETREAT Sept 29–Oct 1 | Offsite Are you hungry for a more intimate and conversational prayer life? In this small group retreat, we will spend some time in reflection, structured silence, and solitude as we learn to be still and know God. Jennifer Sandlin | email@example.com
GETTING COMFORTABLE WITH THE BIBLE Oct 1, 8, 15, 9:30am | Rm. M–2 This three week course is especially for people who are new to the Bible. Week one—an overview of the Bible; week two—how we know the Bible is true; week three—helpful ideas about how to study the Bible. INTRODUCTION TO PRAYER Sept 20, 6:30pm | Rm. M–2 Sept 24, 9:30am | Rm. M–2 This one hour session is designed especially for those who are brand new to prayer. Each session is limited to ten people. Contact Sharon Sorrentino to register. MEMBERSHIP Sept 17, 1:30pm | Rm. A–1 What is church membership at Creekside? What is our history? How did we get where we are today? What do we believe? This class will answer all those questions and more. Melissa Yocum | firstname.lastname@example.org
S.H.A.P.E. Aug 26, 8:30am–noon | Rm. M–6 Aug 27, 1–4:30pm | Rm. M–6 We are all uniquely shaped by God for His purpose. Discover your S.H.A.P.E.–your Spiritual gifts, Heart (passions), Abilities, Personality, and Experiences. Jennifer Sandlin | email@example.com
SHARING YOUR STORY Sept 23, 9am–noon | Rm. A-1 If you’ve been saved by Jesus, you have a salvation story. Let us show you how simple it is to be a witness for Jesus. Learn to craft your story so you can confidently share it with friends, neighbors or anyone within your circle of influence. Karen Stoneburner | firstname.lastname@example.org
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES GALATIANS Sept 10–Nov 26, 11:15am | Rm. E–201 This Galatians study will be verse by verse and will go into depth Salvation by Grace; not works of legalism and the Old Testament Law. Class duration is 12 weeks. Sharon Sorrentino | email@example.com
VICTORY OVER DARKNESS Sept 26–Nov 7, 7–9pm | Rm.M–6 As a Christian, you already have Victory In Christ over sin and your past. So why doesn’t it feel that way? And why are you still struggling with habits, hang-ups and hurts from your past? This group will be led by a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.The group is completely confidential. Cost: $15 Call 509-8285 to register or get more information
SENIOR ADULTS—55+ Nancy Aird | firstname.lastname@example.org
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CREEKSIDEEG FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP
Sharon Sorrentino | email@example.com FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY Wednesdays, Aug 30–Oct 25, 6:15pm | Rm. A–1 This is a life-altering, light-at-theend-of-the-tunnel resource that will help you learn to manage the money God has entrusted to you. Classes take place once a week for 9 weeks and are approximately 90-minutes long. Cost: $99/family. Immediate opportunities in our area are available at daveramsey.com
Sharon Sorrentino | firstname.lastname@example.org FALL SIGN-UPS Aug 6–27 | Atrium We have LifeGroups for every stage. Whether you’re a newly married couple or you’ve been married for years, if you’re single or married, if you’re a man or a woman, we have something for you! Contact us and we’ll help you get connected. Sharon Sorrentino | email@example.com
LIFEGROUP SESSION Aug 27–Nov12 LIFEGROUP LEADER & HOST FALL RECHARGE Aug 20, 5:30-7:30pm Wackford Aquatic Complex Families welcome, potluck and swim.
MIDWEEK BIBLE STUDY Thursdays, 9:15am | Rms. E–201/202 This is a study for adults 55 years and older; it’s an in-depth Bible Study and time of fellowship. SENIORS’ FALL POTLUCK Thursday, Sept 7, 11:30am–2pm | Atrium Join us for a casual potluck luncheon, fellowship, laughter and fun.
FOR FULL DETAILS CHECK OUT THE CREEKSIDE APP OR CREEKSIDEEG.COM
CREEKSIDE CHRISTIAN CHURCH WOMEN
Nancy Aird | firstname.lastname@example.org DORCAS CIRCLE 1st Wednesdays, 9:30am | Rm. E–203 A Missionary group that does projects for mission agencies and outreach organizations both locally and internationally. A wonderful time of community. HEART2HEART MOMS Alternating Thursdays, 9am | Rm. E–108 This is a mom’s group designed for mothers of all ages and stages. Time together includes breakfast, special events and guest speakers. HEART2HEART MOMS WEEKEND EDITION 2nd Saturdays, 9am | Rm. A–1 This is a mom’s group designed for mothers of all ages and stages who are unable to attend our midweek group. Time together includes breakfast, special events and guest speakers. “LIVING LOVED” with LYSA TERKEURST Oct 20–21 This is a 2-day Women’s Conference. See page 22 for all the details! WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDIES MORNING BREAK Tuesdays, Sept 12–Nov 14, 9am | Chapel Choose from these class options: • Jeremiah, Part 2 (Precept) • Entrusted—A Study of Timothy (Beth Moore) • Pictures of Jesus in the Old Testament (Kathleen Robinson) • The Family of Jesus (Karen Kingsbury) • Grace Based Parenting (Tim Kimmel) EVENING EDITION Tuesdays, Sept 12–Nov 14, 6:30pm | Chapel • One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land.
PRAYER SHAWL 2nd Mondays, 7pm | Rm. E–204 Join us as we knit and crochet shawls and pray for those who will receive them. You are also welcome to bring completed handmade shawls to the Women’s Kiosk to donate anytime. PRISCILLA CIRCLE 2nd Mondays, 7pm | Rm. E–203 A Missionary group that does projects for mission agencies and outreach organizations both locally and internationally. It is also a time to learn new skills like quilt making. WOMEN ALONE FELLOWSHIP Last Saturday of the Month, noon | Rm. A–1 This is a group of all ages but mostly senior ladies who are widowed, divorced or single and love to have a good time, eat and be with friends. WOMEN’S HIKING 2nd Saturdays—Offsite All ages and levels of hiking ability come together once a month and go for a guided hike and devotional. Pick up a schedule at the Women’s Kiosk. WOMEN ONLY ON SUNDAYS Sundays, 9:30am | Rm. B–5 This is a group who come to church alone on Sundays for a variety of reasons, who love to study the Bible, and enjoy connecting with ladies of different ages and stages.
Connect Grow Serve Reach with us!
Nancy Aird | email@example.com MEN’S HUDDLE 2nd Saturdays, 9am | Chapel A two-hour meeting—which includes breakfast—is also a great place to get connected and link arms with the great men of Creekside! Suggested donation for breakfast: $5/person PRAYER GROUP Sundays, 7am | Rm. B–4 Gather to pray for the church, our leadership, our country, and for one another.
Karen Nowlan | firstname.lastname@example.org YOUTH CHOIR Aug 20, Sign-ups | Sept 10, Begins Youth Choir is back for 1st Grade through 12th Grade. We will be performing “Jingle Bell Beach”. Mandatory parent meeting on Sept 10, 6pm in the Chapel. Cost is $35 for first child. WORSHIP PREVIEW Sept 24, 1–2:30pm | Rm. B–4 Have you ever wondered if Worship Arts is a possibility for you? If you have a background in the arts, vocal, instrumental or technical. Join us for lunch to talk with others currently involved in Worship Arts and discover the possibilities.
BIBLE STUDY Sundays, 8am | Rm. B–4 Topic: Difficulties in Theology. We will be discussing such topics as tongues/speaking in tongues, how Christians should approach these topics, and how we keep such topics from dividing us. MID-WEEK STUDY FELLOWSHIP Wednesdays, 6:30am | Rm. A–1 Book of Daniel - Focuses across scripture on relevant biblical characters during Daniel’s life time, including Ester, Ezra, Jehoiakim, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, Cyrus, and others.
FOR FULL DETAILS CHECK OUT THE CREEKSIDE APP OR CREEKSIDEEG.COM
Joel Neufeld | email@example.com FAMILY DAY AT THE PARK Aug 26, 2–4pm | Morse Park in E.G. Try out your family’s media-free day on Saturday, August 26 and join us for Creekside Family Day at the Park. Join us at Morse Park to play in the Spray Park and playground. There will be special treats for all at the park. FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT Sept 16, 6–9pm | Creekside’s back-field Bring a blanket, some food, and enjoy a movie under the stars with your family.
Denise Griffin | firstname.lastname@example.org AWANA Aug 31–May 2, 6:15–8pm | Campus-wide Awana provides fun games, great relationships, and a solid spiritual foundation through teaching and Bible memory for ages 3 and up. Awana clubs for ages 3 years to 6th grade. BAPTISM CLASS FOR KIDS Sept 9 and Sept 24 | Rm. M–6 Side Step is for kids who are interested in being baptized or exploring what Jesus’ gift of salvation means for him/her. A parent(s) need accompany the children to the class. 56 BLOWOUT 3rd Fridays, Sept 2017–May 2018 Where 5th and 6th grade students come to socialize and play in a safe, fun Christian environment. PARENT ORIENTATION FOR CHILD DEDICATION Nov 5, 11:15 | Rm. M–6 This Orientation meeting is for parents who are interested in having their child dedicated in our Worship Services.
Kari Mann | email@example.com UNION GOSPEL MISSION Tuesdays, 6–9pm | Offsite Join us as we serve dinner to the homeless.
AWANA TREK Aug 27, 2017–Apr 29, 2018 3:30–5:15pm | Rms. E–105/108 Trek is for 7th-8th grade Jr. High students, and includes games and activities, large group time communicating Bible truths, and small group time providing teens with personal time to interact with their leaders and friends. AWANA JOURNEY Aug 27, 2017–Apr 29, 2018 3:30–5:15pm | Rms. E–105/205 Journey is for high school students, and provides teens with relevant content, with a strong emphasis on life application, thorough apologetics, and Scripture memory. All this plus weekly games with their friends makes a great balance of learning and fun. MANIA BLAST Oct 13, 6–10pm | Campus This is a night for Jr. Highers to take over the Creekside campus for crazy games, yummy food, friends and fun! This event is designed for Jr. High students to reach out to their friends and invite them to church and hear about Jesus while having a ton of fun.
COLLEGE/YOUNG ADULTS Kari Mann | firstname.lastname@example.org
GUY’S BIBLE STUDY Wednesdays, 7pm | Offsite An interactive Bible Study for young adult guys. LADIES’ BIBLE STUDY Mondays, 7pm | Offsite Young adult ladies meet for meals and study. THE GATHERING (ages 22–32) Tuesdays, 7pm | Offsite Young adult singles gather for friendship and studying God’s Word. THE VINE (ages 18–22) Thursdays, 7pm | Rm. E–105 The Vine is a place for college-age students to belong and move closer to Jesus. You’ll find fun, friends and a deeper knowledge of God here!
Karen Stoneburner | email@example.com OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD Oct–Nov | Atrium drop-off Pack a shoebox for a child in need. See details on page 16.
Sharon Sorrentino | firstname.lastname@example.org DEAF BIBLE STUDY Sundays, 11:15am | Rm. E–204 Study the fruits of the Spirit— GALATIANS 5:22-23—and take an in depth look at each of the fruit. How the Holy Spirit works within us to produce the fruit which will benefit those around us.
Sharon Sorrentino | email@example.com SUNDAY STUDY Sundays, 9:30am | Rm. M–3 A study of Paul’s letters and what they reveal about his passion to reach the Gentile world with the Gospel of Christ, his conversion, his missionary journeys, his doctrines, and his preaching and witnessing styles.
SUNDAY SERVICE TIMES CHURCH SERVICE • 8am | Classic • 9:30am | Celebration • 11:15am | Passion CHILDREN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL • 9:30 & 11:15am Check-in: Rm. M–9 or South Wing of Main Bldg. JUNIOR HIGH • 9:30 | Rm. E–108 HIGH SCHOOL • 9:30 | Rm. E–205 SENIOR ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL • 9:30 | Rms. E–101/102
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 HAVE MEDIA FREE DAYS, MAYBE EVEN WEEKS The last thing I want to share is more of a family challenge. Start with picking one day a month where the whole family not only shuts down their phones but all other media devices as well. This includes that darn thing we put on a wall called the television. On these “media free” days plan some intentional family activities. Go on a bike ride, go to the park, do a puzzle, play a game. Get back to interacting with one another face to face. It may be hard at first but I bet you will want media free days to go from once a month to once a week. Who knows, maybe one day we will all go back to cords plugged into our wall. CL
Try out your family’s media-free day on Saturday, August 26 and join us for Creekside Family Day at the Park. Join us at Morse Park to play in the Spray Park and playground. There will be special treat for all at the park. SEE PAGE 21 FOR DETAILS.
LADIES JOIN US FOR A SPECIAL 2-DAY WOMEN’S CONFERENCE!
Messy: chaotic, busy, hurried and complicated
Let’s face it; we all have something in our life that’s a mess. No matter our age no matter our stage... if we’re breathing, odds are we all have something in our lives that’s a mess. (And if we think there isn’t, we might be kidding ourselves.) The key is keeping our eyes lifted up to the One who holds it all. It is only through the love and grace that Jesus gives each of us day after day that we keep putting one foot in front of the other and that we see past our messes and see what are actually beautiful stories of love and redemption. We’ve invited Lysa TerKeurst, bestselling author and president of Proverb 31 Ministries, to be our keynote speaker. Kerri Pomarolli will join us for some laughter as well as for some girl talk. We’ll laugh, we’ll cry, we’ll sing and we’ll eat... it will be a great weekend! Bring your mom, your friends and your sisters and join us.
Friday, October 20 at 6pm & Saturday, October 21 at 8:30am Kerri Pomarolli Tickets are Non-refundable EARLY BIRD—STARTING AT $57 SAVE $10 THROUGH AUG 16 REGULAR BIRD—STARTING AT $67 AUG 17 - OCT 20 Lunch available for an additional $11/person with pre-purchase
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The changes for Tony wouldn’t be limited to just the football field. His grandmother passed away that same year, which turned out to be the catalyst for him to take a close look at his faith and his relationship with God.
Looking up from his salad, Tony Bell put down his fork and recalled the story like it happened yesterday. “I can remember the play. Coach called a two gap. I was playing middle linebacker at the time.”
TONY BELL TONY LEADS MEN’S MINISTRY AT CREEKSIDE AS AN INTERN THROUGH SIOUX FALLS SEMINARY (KAIROS PROJECT).
HE JOINS THE CREEKSIDE TEAM AFTER 28 YEARS IN THE DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS INCLUDING THE U.S. MARSHAL’S TASK FORCE AND A VOLUNTEER CHAPLAIN AT RIO COSUMNES CORRECTIONAL CENTER. HE AND HIS WIFE HAVE TWO SONS, A DAUGHTERIN-LAW AND TWO GRANDCHILDREN.
The year was 1980. Bell, then a Sophomore, had just transferred to Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento. He was having a hard time trying to fit in at his new school, but he knew earning a spot on the varsity football team would help. He was facing one of the best Seniors on the team. “He came through the line and I just lit him up. Just laid him out. It changed everything. It changed his demeanor towards me. He had a respect for me. From then, I started to have an understanding that it’s going to be okay. People aren’t going to continue to walk on you. That’s when things really started to change.”
“I said to God, at the age of 16, that if you are exactly who you say you are, I’ll serve you until the day I die. If not, I don’t want to be like so many people that are fans of Christ. It’s either going to be real or not.” It was real, and to this day Tony’s faith continues to set the foundation for every aspect of his life. A neighbor, who Tony describes as a father figure growing up, was a Sacramento County Sheriff and the one who steered Bell to what would turn out to be a 30year career in law enforcement and corrections. Bell’s background gives him a unique position to use his ministry in places most would struggle.
“HE CAME THROUGH THE LINE AND I JUST LIT HIM UP. JUST LAID HIM OUT. IT CHANGED EVERYTHING. IT CHANGED HIS DEMEANOR TOWARDS ME. HE HAD A RESPECT FOR ME...” “When I talk to people, it’s not just to be talking to them. God has given me a love for them. I desire for them to do well in Him and I desire for them to truly know Him so
they can experience the power that comes only from Him. I can walk any street, I can go to any neighborhood, I can go to any jail. God said I’ll make even your enemies be at peace with you. He made that real to me.” Tony and his wife Gayle— married now for 31-years and with two grown boys—are both active members at Creekside Christian. Tony is also in the first year of seminary, continuing to focus on men’s ministry. “You will never see a church thrive without men being given the opportunity to be strong and grow and serve.” “God’s purpose is to help men come to know God in the way of fulfilling the great commission. The scripture that always comes to mind is teaching men what it means to come after Christ. To take up your cross and follow him. That is God’s goal for us so it became my goal for men.” As one of the driving forces behind the monthly men’s huddle at Creekside, Bell draws back on his football days to describe his vision for the men of Creekside going forward. “One of the things about the men’s ministry that’s my goal this year is that we break huddle. We’re not going to just continue to huddle. A football team, if they only huddle, they’re going to get destroyed. You’ve got to get in the game.” Tony Bell has been in the game his whole life, and, if you ask him, he’s just getting started. “I would be lost without ministry. It rocks my world. It really does. It really does.” CL
WE HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED OUR FIRST ISSUE OF CREEKSIDE LIFE as much as we enjoyed producing it! When we dream, we dream big because we have a BIG God... why limit ourselves?!
As mentioned in the Welcome to Creekside Life article, we desire to create a team of volunteers who work with our Communications Team, both with Creekside Life, and also in our day-to-day work. We have some specific roles MAYBE you’re interested that we could use help in now. because you do one or more of the listed roles. Believe it or not, one week after this edition of Creekside This might help seal the deal: Life releases, we’ll be starting • You enjoy working with the next edition. “creatives” who like brainstorming, rock music, and dark and moody COMMUNICATIONS environments. (Oh and TEAM chocolate... don’t forget CURRENT NEEDS about the chocolate!) • Proofers • You have finding-typos and • Copywriters word-count-slashing on your • Editors list of hobbies. • Graphic Designers • You have distaste for micro• Story Hunters managing and thrive in a self-starter/self-motivated REQUIREMENTS/ environment. STRENGTHS/SKILLS • Excellent verbal, If anything we’ve shared appeals written, and visual to you, please contact me! CL communication skills. • Time-management mojo and the ability to multi-task • A strong voice of clarity and simplicity in design, messaging and way-finding • Frequent and consistent email availability Communications Director firstname.lastname@example.org | 685-4821 ext. 130
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